Kentucky Museum to host 10th annual holiday event

Emma Austin

Gingerbread samples, ornament-making activities, carolers, Mrs. Claus and Santa himself will all be at the Kentucky Museum this Saturday for the 10th annual Christmas in Kentucky family-oriented event to put Bowling Green families and WKU students in the holiday spirit.

“We call it controlled chaos the day of because there’s things going on all over the museum,” Christy Spurlock, associate professor and Kentucky Museum education curator, said.

The event began in 2006 and was named after the theme of Bowling Green’s Christmas parade that year, Christmas in Kentucky. The name stuck to what is now a tradition for several Bowling Green families.

About 450 people attended the first year, Spurlock said. In more recent years, crowds have reached as many as 1,200 people, she said.

“We get people of all ages,” Spurlock said. “We have an army of students that work for us here at the museum, and they’ll all be in historical costume.”

Glasgow sophomore Maggie Casteel, one of the student employees, said her favorite part of Christmas in Kentucky is the opportunity to dress in historical garb.

“Last year I was able to be in a Civil War costume, so that was really fun,” Casteel said. “That makes the whole day even better, especially when the kids ask you about your costume.”

Casteel said she’ll be wearing her costume again this year.

“It’s a pink ballgown, so I love it,” she said.

Along with several holiday-themed activities, a magician is scheduled to perform as well as the WKU women’s a cappella choir, the Treblemakers. A clown will also be at the museum making balloon animals, according to the schedule. Santa and Mrs. Claus plan to make an appearance in the Garden Gallery in the afternoon.

The museum’s exhibits will be open during the day for visitors to explore. Casteel said she and other student workers will be nearby to answer questions about the exhibits and elaborate on topics.

The museum came up with the event to give families something fun to do together for free, Spurlock said.

“Bowling Green’s a great town, but sometimes it seemed like there wasn’t a whole lot to do with little kids,” Spurlock said. “We have so many families that come back to us year after year. I think this is kind of a way that WKU can give back to the community.”

When guests arrive at the museum Saturday, they will be given a schedule and a red bag to put their ornament creations in.

“Then they just go where they want to go,” Spurlock said. “You know, some people will stay here for an hour, some people stay the whole time.”

Spurlock said her favorite part is seeing the children’s faces light up when they see Santa and Mrs. Claus.

“Of course, I’m biased; I think it’s one of the best yearly events in Bowling Green,” Spurlock said. “I just think it’s really cool and it will get [participants] in the holiday spirit.”

“This is a great opportunity for families,” Casteel said. “Kids of all ages will enjoy it because there are different activities for everyone. You can make ornaments, you can learn some historical facts all while bonding with your family over Christmas traditions.”

Christmas in Kentucky will begin at 11 a.m. and go until 2 p.m. on Saturday. Admission is free and parking will be available in the Kentucky Street Lot, which is reserved for the event.

Reporter Emma Austin can be reached at 270-745-2655 and [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @emmacaustin.